The state government on Wednesday ordered a police inquiry into the civic body's nullah cleaning work.
The minister of state for urban development, Bhaskar Jadhav, announced this in response to a calling attention motion moved by the Congress legislator Madhu Chavan, Amin Patel and others. The legislators alleged large-scale corruption in the work carried out by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in nullah cleaning.
Jadhav announced that the Crime Investigations Department (CID) of the state police has been entrusted to probe this matter.
The police inquiry assumes political significance ahead of next year's civic polls.
The Shiv Sena that rules the richest civic corporation in the country along with the BJP depends largely on the civic body for its political might. And with the municipal elections just six months away, this probe assumes significance as both the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party are trying hard to wrest power from the Sena-BJP in the civic body.
In fact, Sena legislator Ravindra Waikar, former chairman of the BMC's standing committee, dared Jadhav to order this probe. "Is this government too helpless (to inquire). If all vehicles carrying silt from the nullahs are tracked digitally, we would know how much they carry and offload," he said.
Responding to this, Jadhav said, "In the past four-five years, it has come to our notice that deliberate efforts are made to pile up silt (on the banks of nullah). The silt is not carried away and tenders are called repeatedly to remove the same silt from the nullahs," said Jadhav.
"There is possibility of a scam in this entire process," the minister added.